We provide relationship-based dog training using positive methods. We believe providing clear communication , trust and leadership are the basis for successful training.
I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - CPDT-KA I earned my title CPDT-KA from the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers.
I have been training dogs professionally since 2004. I became interested in dog training after my one year old Golden Retriever, Murray, had become aggressive in certain situations. After reading many books and lots of hours working with my dog, Murray earned his Canine Good Citizen title and actually became a therapy dog for the MSPCA. Together we enjoyed providing comfort and laughter for residents of a local nursing home.
I got my start at Mt. Ida College where I graduated from the 2 year Canine Behavior and Training Program. I earned hands on experience from volunteering as a dog walker and trainer at the Quincy Animal Shelter. I volunteered for 9 years as the Canine Training Manager. I then spent 6 years working for Scituate Animal Shelter as the Canine Behavior and Training Coordinator. I evaluated each dog for temperament and adoptability. I developed training plans and conducted obedience classes with volunteers and dogs of the shelter. I continue to volunteer with shelter and rescue dogs.
I also spent a year volunteering for the Prison Puppy Program for NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans. Each weekend I would socialize and train the puppies that lived with inmates at a prison during the week. After about a year the puppies were placed with a deaf or disabled person.
I teach my classes and Puppy Day Training at my own studio in Jackson Square, Weymouth. I am also the Training Director and board member of the New England Dog Training Club in Cambridge, MA. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer by the Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers. In addition, I am a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator from the American Kennel Club, a member of the APDT, Association of Pet Dog Trainers, The International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants and the National Association of Canine Scent Work. I attend many seminars and workshops throughout the year to earn Continuing Education Credits. I compete in the sport of Nosework with my dog, Sammy.
Recent seminars include those by Aggression Dogs Seminar with Michael Shikashio, workshops and lectures by Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Suzanne Clothier, Dr. Susan Friedman, Sue Sternberg. I recently earned the opportunity to join an exclusive group of trainers to be among the first to train wolves, coyotes, foxes and bison at Wolf Park, a Wolf Sanctuary in Indiana.
I am committed to proven science based methods that are compassionate, kind and fear free for dogs and their humans.
Marissa is currently a student at Karen Pryor Academy (https://karenpryoracademy.com/courses/dog-trainer-professional/). Marissa has many years of experience working at various Dog Daycares and Training facilities in and around Boston. She recently interned as a Training Assistant at a Facility in Colorado where she learned the principles of Positive Reinforcement and Fear Free methods. Marissa shares her life with her 2 Pitbull mixes Casey and River .
Leah is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with over 20 years experience training dogs and their people. Having degrees in Elementary and Special Education and Psychology, Leah's professional career began in the public schools working as a behavior consultant to teachers and families having children with developmental delays, autism, and other behavioral and educational challenges. During her time working for the public school system, she designed and implemented programs rooted in behavior analysis in both the home and school setting as well as acted as the District Coordinator for Behavioral Programs.
Leah is the owner of Blue Skies Ahead Dog Training which specializes in training to enrich, broaden and deepen the relationship between owner and dog. Leah is known for making sports training, including agility and parkour, accessible and inclusive. Excels at teaching people how to communicate effectively with their dogs utilizing compassionate, humane, science-based training methods intended to build a strong and enduring bond between dog and handler. Focus is placed on not only what the dog is doing right but what the handler is doing right. Classes are fun, educational and rewarding for both people and dogs. Over the course of her career, Leah has taught Puppy Kindergarten, Graduate Puppy Classes, Basic Manners, Advanced Manners, Real World Training, Kids and Dogs, Games, Canine Good Citizen, Fit Dog Level 1, Agility for Fun levels 1-3, Intro to Parkour, and Sports Sampler classes. Leah has extensive experience working with reactive dogs and have taught Reactive Dog and Reactive Dog Sports classes. She has supervised both adult and puppy playgroups and has volunteered at community events to introduce various dog sports to the public and to assist dog owners in learning essential skills.
Leah believes there is always more to learn and continues to work and learn from other talented trainers and professionals. Leah regularly attends seminars and workshops and eagerly participates in various animal educational experiences including but not limited to Association of Professional Dog Trainers annual conference, ClickerExpo, and The Aggression in Dogs Conference.
Leah is a certified dog trainer by The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. She is also a CGC Evaluator and certified FIT Dog Instructor Level 1. She has also received education in Fear Free practices. Leah is currently working to achieve her parkour instructor’s certification.
Leah is also the founder of The Canis Lupus Familiaris Literary Society.
Members meet monthly via zoom to discuss animal related books.
Leah is the companion to two amazing dogs, Lyric and Smidgen. Lyric is a free-spirited, energetic, athletic, and joyful pitbull/beagle mix. Smidgen is an expressive, thoughtful, snuggly chihuahua/maltese mix. Together they enjoy nose games, trick training, rally, agility, and parkour. They can often be found playing in the fields, in the woods, during the day, at night, in sunny, rainy and snowy weather. They enjoy snuggling up while reading good books. Occasionally, they have been known to take long naps together too.